Martin Gore

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Martin Gore
Martin Gore in 2009.jpg
Gore in 2009
Background information
Birth nameMartin Lee Gore
Born (1961-07-23) 23 July 1961 (age 58)
OriginDagenham, Essex, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • guitarist
  • keyboardist
  • record producer
  • remixer
  • DJ
Associated acts

Martin Lee Gore (born 23 July 1961)[1] is an English songwriter, musician, singer, record producer, remixer, and DJ. He is one of the founding members of the synth rock band Depeche Mode[2] and is its primary songwriter.[3] Gore is the band's keyboardist and guitar player, contributes backing vocals,[4] and occasionally provides lead vocals.[5][6] Gore possesses a tenor singing voice which contrasts with Dave Gahan's dramatic baritone and is also known for his flamboyant and (sometimes) androgynous stage persona. Gore has also released several solo albums and collaborated with former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke as part of VCMG.[7]

Gore's lyrics included themes such as sex, religion, and politics.[8] Gore has stated he feels lyrical themes which tackle issues related to solitude and loneliness are a better representation of reality, whereas he finds "happy songs" fake and unrealistic.[9] At the same time, he asserts that the band's music contains "an element of hope."[10]

In 1999, Gore received the Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors for "International Achievement".

Early life[edit]

Martin Lee Gore was born in Dagenham, Essex in England. Gore's biological father was an African American G.I. stationed in Britain.[11] Gore was raised by his stepfather and biological mother. He believed his stepfather was his biological father until age 13, when he learned of his biological father. As an adult, Gore met his biological father in the American South.[11]

He left Nicholas Comprehensive, Basildon in 1977 and took a job as a bank cashier. During evenings, weekends and any other spare time, he was involved with the local band Norman and the Worms with school friend Phil Burdett who later went on to become a singer/songwriter himself.

Gore has two younger half-sisters, Karen, born in 1967, and Jacqueline, born in 1968.[12]


Martin Gore, Los Angeles, July 1986

In 1980, Gore met Andy "Fletch" Fletcher at the Van Gogh club. Fletcher recruited Gore into his band Composition of Sound along with Vince Clarke. Soon the band drafted Dave Gahan to be the lead singer after hearing him sing "Heroes" by David Bowie. Gahan is credited with the name "Depeche Mode" after seeing the phrase as a title of a French fashion magazine, which later considered taking them to court, but thought it would be good publicity for the magazine to let the band have the name.[citation needed]

Clarke left Depeche Mode in late 1981, shortly after the release of their debut album Speak & Spell. Clarke wrote most of the album, with Gore contributing two tracks, "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and the instrumental "Big Muff".[citation needed] "Any Second Now (voices)" features Gore's first lead vocals for the band.[citation needed] Gore sings lead vocals on several of the band's songs, notably ballads, his tenor voice providing a contrast to Gahan's dramatic baritone.[citation needed] When Clarke announced his departure from Depeche Mode in 1981, Gore became the principal songwriter for the band.[3] Gore had been writing material since the age of 12.[citation needed] Songs Gore wrote for Depeche Mode's second album, A Broken Frame (1982) differed musically and lyrically from Clarke's. Gore's writing became gradually darker and more political on subsequent Depeche Mode albums.[citation needed]

Gore sometimes plays guitar (typically his Gretsch White Falcon or Gretsch Double Anniversary) on Depeche Mode songs.[citation needed] The first time guitar was used as the main instrument was on "Personal Jesus", although he used small guitar parts on previous songs, such as "Behind the Wheel" and "Love, in Itself". Gore's guitar playing developed even more on Songs of Faith and Devotion.[citation needed] However, in live performances, he switches his keyboards for his guitar on some older Depeche Mode songs, such as "Never Let Me Down Again" and "A Question of Time".[citation needed] In mid-1990, Gore said, "I think in a way we've been at the forefront of new music; sort of chipping away at the standard rock format stations."[13]

On 27 May 1999, Gore was presented with an award by Daniel Miller for "International Achievement" by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors at the 44th Ivor Novello Awards.[14][15]

Personal life[edit]

Gore lives in Santa Barbara, California.[16] He started dating lingerie designer and model Suzanne Boisvert after meeting in Paris in 1989. They married in August 1994. He has three children with Boisvert: daughter Viva Lee Gore (born 1991), daughter Ava Lee Gore (born 1995), and son Calo Leon Gore (born 2002). Gore and Boisvert divorced in 2006.[citation needed]

Gore married Kerrilee Kaski in June 2014. On 19 February 2016, Kaski gave birth to a baby girl named Johnnie Lee, his fourth child.[17][better source needed] On 13 March 2017, she gave birth to their second daughter named Mazzy Lee, Martin Gore's fifth child.[citation needed]

Gore suffered from stress-induced seizures during the band's 1993 Devotion tour.[18] He has publicly acknowledged his past alcoholism.[19]

Gore became a vegetarian for health and moral reasons in 1983.[20][21]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
US Dan
Counterfeit² 102 32 52 12 25 23 79 3
  • Release date: 24 April 2015
  • Label: Mute Records
  • Formats: LP, CD, music download
50 90 7 28 1

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
Counterfeit e.p.
  • Release date: 12 June 1989
  • Label: Mute Records
  • Formats: CD, LP album, cassette
51 41 156
MG Remix EP
  • Release date: 9 October 2015
  • Label: Mute Records
  • Formats: 12" vinyl, digital bundle

with VCMG[edit]


Year Single Peak chart positions Album

1989 "Compulsion" 18 Counterfeit e.p.
2003 "Stardust" 44 16 92 29 28 Counterfeit²
"Loverman" 53
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart.

Other appearances[edit]

Year Song Album Notes
1995 "Coming Back To You" Tower of Song: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen Gore sings lead vocals on a cover version of the Leonard Cohen song.
2004 "Overdrive" City Recorded with female duo Client. Gore sings backing vocals on this track.
2009 "Master and Servant (feat. Martin Gore)" 3 Cover of the 1984 Depeche Mode hit, recorded with French band Nouvelle Vague. Lead vocal by Melanie Pain, with Gore on backing vocals.[36]
2010 "Once You Say" Industrial Complex Recorded with Nitzer Ebb. Gore sings backing vocals on this track.
2011–12 "Man Made Machine" Man Made Machine Recorded with Motor. Gore sings lead vocals on both EP version (2011), and on the album of the same name (2012).
2012 All tracks Ssss All songs co-written and performed with Vince Clarke as the duo VCMG (see below).
2016 "Only You & You Alone" Another Fall from Grace Backing vocals on the album from the English band The Mission.[37]


Former Depeche Mode colleague Vince Clarke collaborated with Gore for the first time since 1981 as techno duo VCMG on an instrumental minimalist electronic dance album called Ssss, released on 12 March 2012. The first EP entitled Spock was first released worldwide exclusively on Beatport on 30 November 2011.[38] The second EP Single Blip was once again first released exclusively on Beatport on 20 February 2012. Their third EP Aftermaths was released on 20 August 2012.


In late February 2015, several teaser images were displayed on Martin Gore's official Facebook page,[39] citing a hashtag "MGxMG" which was later revealed to be a promotional tool for his new solo studio album, titled MG (named after his previous collaborative album, VCMG, with Vince Clarke from 2012). In a news post on his official website and various social media on 2 March, this confirmation of his new studio album announced its release would be on 27 or 28 April and previewed a track, Europa Hymn, from the new album.[40]

Other collaborations[edit]

  • Gore played keyboard on two tracks by Annette & Inga Humpe (Humpe and Humpe), called "Happiness Is Hard to Take" & "Don't Know Where I Belong" from their 1985 album Humpe Humpe
  • He played guitar on the Gwen Stefani song "Wonderful Life" on her 2006 album The Sweet Escape.
  • Gore collaborated on the band Onetwo's track "Cloud Nine" by playing the guitar and as songwriter of the song, which can be found on their 2007 album called Instead.
  • In 2010, Tim Simenon's Bomb the Bass album Back to Light was published, which contains the instrumental "Milakia", co-written by Martin Gore during the Ultra sessions. Gore also played synthesiser on the track.
  • Compact Space's album Nameless (2011) includes the track "The Unstoppable Collision" with Gore on guitar. Compact Space is formed by Depeche Mode's collaborators Christian Eigner, Daryl Bamonte and singer Florian Kraemmer.
  • Also in 2011, Gore created the sound "Siren-synth – Mutesound" on the track "Uni Rec" on the album Univrs by German glitch and minimalist techno artist Alva Noto.



  • Malins, Steve. Depeche Mode : Black Celebration : The Biography. Andre Deutsch, 2007. ISBN 978-0-233-00178-4
  • Miller, Jonathan. Stripped: Depeche Mode 2003, 2004, Omnibus Press ISBN 1-84449-415-2
  • Tobler, John. NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd, 1992. CN 5585. ISBN 0-600-57602-7


  1. ^ Malins, p. 1
  2. ^ "Founding Depeche Mode members Martin Gore, Vince Clarke reunite". The San Francisco Examiner. 21 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Depeche Mode's Vince Clarke and Martin Gore reunite in the name of techno". 24 November 2011.
  4. ^ Kelly, Brendan; Kelly, Brendan (23 September 1993). "Depeche Mode; The The".
  5. ^ Rouner, Jef (23 July 2012). "Happy 51st, Depeche Mode's Martin Gore: A Birthday Playlist". Houston Press.
  6. ^ World, Jimmie Tramel Tulsa. "Verdict arrives at BOK Center: Oklahoma 'gets' Depeche Mode". Tulsa World.
  7. ^ [1] Archived 2 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer (24 April 2013). "Catching up with Depeche Mode". CNN. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Martin Gore (Depeche Mode) interview". YouTube. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  10. ^ Condran, Ed (25 May 2006). "On That Note: Comeback Mode". Archived from the original on 22 July 2015.. South Philly Review.
  11. ^ a b Miller, pp. 318–319
  12. ^ Lilian R. Franke. "Depeche Mode Biography Martin Lee Gore". Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  13. ^ NME – July 1990; Tobler, p. 472
  14. ^ Pride, Dominic: "Cher, Hynde among Ivors' U.S winners Billboard, 12 June 1999. (p. 40). Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  15. ^ Video of Martin Gore receiving the Ivor Novello award Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  16. ^ Dorian Lynskey (28 March 2013). "Depeche Mode: 'We're dysfunctional. Maybe that's what makes us tick'". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  17. ^ "Kerrilee Gore". Facebook. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Music a la Mode". The Independent. 2 May 1997. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  19. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (28 March 2013). "Depeche Mode: 'We're dysfunctional. Maybe that's what makes us tick'". Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Depeche Mode (1980 - )". International Vegetarian Union.
  21. ^ "Famous Vegetarian Musicians". Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  22. ^ "Chart Log UK: Gina G – GZA". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  23. ^ " – Danish charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  24. ^ " – French charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  25. ^ a b c "Offizielle Deutsche Charts - Discographie von Martin L. Gore". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  26. ^ a b " – Italian charts portal - Martin L. Gore". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  27. ^ " – Swedish charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  28. ^ "The Official Swiss and Music Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  29. ^ "Martin L. Gore Album & Song Chart History – Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  30. ^ "Martin Gore Official Website news". Martin Gore Official Website. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  31. ^ a b "Official Charts Company - Martin L. Gore". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  32. ^ "Martin L. Gore Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  33. ^ " – Danish charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  34. ^ " – French charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  35. ^ "Martin L. Gore Album & Song Chart History – Alternative Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  36. ^ "Official homepage of Nouvelle Vague". Archived from the original on 9 July 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  37. ^ Ultra Depeche 🚩🚩🚩 [@Ultra_Depeche] (21 August 2016). "Martin Gore featuring on "Only You & You Alone" from The Mission's new album "Another Fall From Grace" #DepecheMode" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  38. ^ [2] Archived 7 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ "Facebook - Martin Gore #MGxMG first promotion image". Facebook. Facebook. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  40. ^ "Martin Gore Official Website News". Martin Gore Official Website. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.

External links[edit]